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Unwrapping the Birthday Blues with Counseling

Help for depression on your birthday, concerns about aging, counseling for depression with Carolina Counseling Pinehurst NC, depression issues on my birthday


Unwrapping the Birthday Blues with Counseling


Birthdays can be a great time to celebrate another year of life. The once-a-year event is a momentous occasion to be thankful for being alive, to reflect on the past, and to make plans. It is just reasonable to commemorate your birthday with parties, gifts, and food with the significant people in your life.

What if you find yourself feeling low knowing your birthday is approaching? Does the prospect of having another birthday diminish your energy and spirit that you stay away from anything that reminds you of it? Do you feel sad and disappointed, so you choose not to celebrate your birthday at all? Are you just feeling unusually unhappy, or are you feeling genuinely depressed on your birthday?


A Phenomenon Called Birthday Depression

If these are exactly what you feel when your birthday comes around, you likely have the “birthday blues.” Birthday blues, or birthday depression or sadness, is a biological and emotional health issue caused by the heightened consciousness that you are aging. With such a softer term as birthday blues given to the real thing, birthday depression is undermined and brushed off as a transient feeling that does not receive the attention it needs.

Like other meaningful celebrations, such as Christmas and New Year, birthdays are a difficult reality many people may try to spend being alone, or with selected people only, or avoid to any extent. Whether the general low mood arises specifically because of the event or a symptom of chronic depression, it can invite other negative feelings, such as sadness, hopelessness, guilt, despair, and more to the birthday party.

Studies show that birthday blues increase the risk of self-harm in the general population as well as in patients diagnosed and being treated for behavioral and emotional health issues. The results suggest that, although birthdays are supposed to be a good and happy occasion, they are periods of higher risk for self-harming. This is particularly true for the male population, regardless of whether they are receiving treatment and care for their behavioral and emotional health condition or not. This highlights the importance of taking birthday depression seriously and addressing the condition with kindness and understanding.


Potential Reasons Behind Birthday Depression

It can be perplexing why you might feel low on your birthday. Birthdays are often celebrated and shared with family and friends. You get special treatment, promos and complimentary treats from your favorite restaurant, coffee shop, and salon. These perks and goodies are, however, overshadowed by the gloom hanging over your special day.

Behind the introverted behavior could be depression. The following are reasons that contribute to a birthday being so emotionally difficult to confront:

• Age – The numbers adding to your age can be scary because they come with physical changes that accompany aging. The fear of mortality, knowing there is less time left to accomplish your goals can be more felt. As you turn a certain age, it cannot be helped to feel nostalgic about your childhood and past birthdays, when you were younger, happier and more carefree.

• Achievements – While birthdays are a joyful time to reminisce and monitor your progress, they can also be a disappointing occasion to track down your failures and inadequacies, leaving you with a feeling of general disappointment in yourself.

• Expectations and Pressures – Society has put a fair amount of pressure to accomplish your goals and expectations of reaching certain milestones on a specific timetable. Birthdays can bring this into sharp focus, causing you to feel incompetent, especially if you compare yourself to more successful peers in your age group. Your birthday can heighten the feeling of hopelessness or despondency if you have not hit certain expectations or you’re still struggling to find life’s purpose or meaning.

• Dysfunctional Family Dynamics – The family is said to be the surest source of happiness, but it can also be a spring of tension, stress, and sadness for you. Even if you wish for an epic, happy birthday, your family are the very people who trigger negative emotions on a day like your birthday.

• Few Friends – It is difficult to find real friends, and the few ones you keep have either moved on or passed away. Without the presence of close friends to cheer you up, your birthday can be a sad occasion to miss them and feel lonely.

• Absence of a Significant Someone – Without a meaningful relationship and someone to shower you with love and affection, birthdays can magnify your feelings of being unloved and unimportant.


Depression and Shame: The Uninvited Guests

Many complex factors can scramble into the party, bringing with them depression to spoil your day. While it is not forbidden or wrong to be unhappy on your big day, it is another thing to be sad and be ashamed about your emotional struggle. It is, therefore, of importance to understand why the feeling of shame lingers around a serious issue, such as birthday depression:

• Societal expectations – People celebrating their birthday are expected to be happy. Being alive is something to be grateful about, whether life is good or bad. If you are not happy on your birthday, society thinks something may be wrong with you. Having birthday depression does not mean you are ungrateful or a social outcast.

• Guilt for feeling bad – Like most people, you are probably pressured to feel a certain way and you push yourself to be. When you feel unhappy, you feel bad. Emotions are not experienced at random, nor are they mere outward manifestations. You need to accept and respect your own emotions and moods triggered by specific factors, whether it is your birthday or not.

• Lack of knowledge about birthday depression – The fact that birthday depression is misunderstood, and little is known about it, people may not figure out and relate to your feelings. In order to avoid rejection and judgment, you submit to the custom, pretend you are okay, and deny your depressed feeling.


Counseling: A Special Gift for Your Birthday

Birthdays are a great time to celebrate your existence today and pay homage to the past years. Everyone deserves to be happy and have a blast on their birthdays because to reach another year is a milestone that is worth celebrating. Birthdays are an occasion to look forward to and not to shudder away from.

If you are feeling low, experiencing negative feelings, or struggling with your mood every time your birthday comes around, these feelings can bring you down on the actual day. Birthday depression is common and there is nothing to be ashamed about. The good news is that it can be easily treated if you seek professional help as soon as possible. You can seek immediate relief by receiving counseling, especially if you have a high risk for self-harm.

Are you looking for a way to treat yourself on your birthday? Then look after your emotional wellness. Gift yourself with counseling to unwrap the root cause and blow out the candles of your birthday depression. That is what the right fit therapist independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – Pinehurst, NC will do to help you. Escaping depression with counseling can be the only way to truly feel how it is to be wished a happy birthday. Call now to schedule an appointment before your special day.

Serving Areas: Carolina Counseling Services – Pinehurst, NC

Counties: Moore county, NC, Lee County, Hoke County, Chatham County

Areas: Pinehurst NC, West End NC, Taylortown NC, Seven Lakes NC, Eagle Springs NC, Jackson Springs NC, Foxfire NC, Candor NC, Norman NC, Ellerbe NC, Rockingham NC

Zip Codes: 27281, 27376, 28315, 28347, 28350, 28373, 28374, 28387, 28388, 28394

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Therapist Information

Kelly ErkenBrack, LCSW

Specializes in: (Ages 3+) Children, Teens, Adults, Couples and Families. Anxiety, Depression, Grief and Loss, Mood Disorders, Trauma, Adjustments and Life Transitions, ADHD, Behavioral Issues, Parenting, Relationship Concerns, Self Esteem
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare Prime/Select, Medicare and Cash
Credit Cards:  
Location: Pinehurst, NC

Robin Caswell, MSW, LCSW

Specializes in: (Ages 5+), Individuals, Adults, Anxiety, Depression, Grief, Loss, ADHD, ODD, Trauma/PTSD, LGBTQ, Self-Harm, Military Family Life, Mood Disorders, OCD, Phobias
Insurance: BCBS, Tricare, Medicare and Cash
Credit Cards:  
Location: Pinehurst, NC

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Giving Your Marriage Another Chance through Marriage Counseling

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Most marriages go through rough waters at some point in time. People bring different personal cultures, ideas, values, and beliefs into a relationship, and it can’t be expected that they will match each other perfectly, all the time. Opposites may attract, but the differences can also grate on any couple’s nerves after they spend time together.

Some marriages survive stormy periods because the couples have the innate skill to fix issues before they become full-blown problems that can potentially shatter their marriage. Others are not as flexible when their relationship is tested by domestic issues, miscommunication, debilitating illness, or financial difficulties.

Not every type of relationship trouble fades on its own. When allowed to fester, problems can become severe enough to cause emotional issues such as depression and anxiety. They may also significantly affect other family members. Marriage counseling can be the antidote that can save your relationship in a way you and your spouse may not know how to accomplish on your own.

Seeking Marital Happiness through Marriage Counseling

According to marriage expert Dr. John Gottman, it usually takes six years for an average couple to get help for marital problems. This means that they have to endure living together unhappily for that amount of time. You don’t have to wait that long to bring about the change that you want for your relationship. Marriage counseling can help you solidify your union with new skills that will help you identify, understand, and resolve your besetting issues.

Marriage counseling is also referred to as couples’ therapy. Whatever you decide to call it, it is a form of talk therapy that aims to resolve marital conflicts in a healthy manner. In a safe and nurturing environment, a qualified marriage counselor facilitates, instructs, guides, and provides a nonpartisan third perspective on how to resolve issues and improve your marriage. This allows you and your spouse to work together in solving the issues without hurting or downgrading each other’s feelings. In the process, both of you are able to develop a deeper understanding of each other’s needs.

Giving Your Marriage Another Stake

It takes a lot to make your marriage work, and it takes more to save it from crumbling. Seeking marriage counseling, whether early on or after the problems have already escalated, proves that you are willing to give your relationship another chance.

Discover ways to strengthen your relationship and restore the lost spark. Let a professional marriage counselor independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services - Pinehurst, NC, help you save, strengthen, and protect your marriage. Call now to request an appointment for your first session.

Seek Counseling Early for Anxiety

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Anxiety is the most prevalent emotional condition in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 40 million adults in the US are affected by this condition, or 18 percent of the population. Children are not spared from anxiety: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the condition affects about 3% of the child population. Further, NIMH estimates that around 25% of the adolescent population has anxiety and that "5.9% of 13-18 year old children have a severe disorder."

It’s an Important Health Issue

Anxiety is a serious concern, and chronic anxiety can impact your overall health throughout your lifespan. It is treatable, but many sufferers are not getting the treatment they need. In fact, “80 percent of kids with a diagnosable anxiety disorder… are not getting treatment,” says the 2015 Mental Health Report of the Child Mind Institute. For children and teens, it can stand in the way of their normal growth and development. Anxiety can also interfere with their (or an adult’s) relationships at home and school/work.

When to Seek Professional Help

Though anxiety is a common reaction to certain situations, excessive manifestations could indicate any of several types of anxiety disorders. These include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and specific phobias. The symptoms can be so intense that they make your everyday life extremely challenging. Rather than struggling with anxiety alone, work on overcoming it with the help of a licensed therapist.

Your Treatment Options

A number of clinical studies show that there are many effective evidence-based treatment options available for individuals suffering from anxiety. Psychotherapy is a popular treatment option for people who prefer to achieve emotional wellness without the use of medications. Two types of psychotherapy that are particularly helpful in managing generalized anxiety disorder are talk therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Live a wonderful anxiety-free life with the help of a therapist independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services - Pinehurst, NC. If you suspect you or a loved one could be affected by anxiety, call us right away for early diagnosis and treatment. It can make a difference.

Child Counseling: Achieving Psychological and Emotional Health for Your Child

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Childhood is often considered a carefree time of fun and enjoyment. This is not, however, true for all children. Like adults, children are subjected to many unique challenges, such as school pressures and domestic problems. Due to their underdeveloped faculties, young children find it difficult to understand and express their feelings; when they are confused, angry, or sad, they may act out with emotional or behavioral symptoms.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, more than 20 percent of American children, or one in five, are diagnosed with some form of emotional disability. This includes attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mood disorder, and major depressive disorder. As a parent, it’s not easy to see your child struggling with the symptoms of these conditions. Seeking counseling for your child is the best proactive step to help them achieve psychological and emotional health.

How Children Benefit from Counseling

Child counseling is provided by a professional therapist in an environment that is safe and supportive for children facing emotional difficulties. In this setting, the therapist helps children express and understand their feelings with a healthy, hopeful attitude and perspective. The child is helped to recognize their strengths, thus boosting the self-confidence needed to manage the issues that confront them.

Counseling for children depends upon the child’s age and development phase, and the specific difficulties to be addressed. If your child is showing distressing signs such as persistent sadness, constant irritability or anger, a sudden drop in school performance, or aggressive or self-harming behavior, they will likely benefit from counseling.

Sparing Your Child from Unnecessary Struggles

Take a stand to provide the kind of help your child needs to achieve overall well-being. Counseling can make a big difference in ensuring that your child develops robust psychological, emotional, and behavioral health.

Don’t watch your child struggle with symptoms until they get worse. Help is available at Carolina Counseling Services - Pinehurst, NC. We take pride in contracting with independent, highly trained child therapists. One of them will be the right fit to provide the full range of counseling your child deserves. Contact CCS - Pinehurst, NC, to get started

No Need to Wait to Get Counseling

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Emotional conditions can make you intensely sad, fearful, anxious, manic, etc. Relationship issues can dishearten you and drive you to extreme anger and frustration. The loss of someone or something valued can cause grief, guilt, and distress. There are also inevitable, major life transitions that may bring saddening or confusing adjustment issues into your life.

All these can make the future look grim, but not everything is lost. With counseling or therapy, you can bounce back and have a more fulfilling life. Waiting should not be an option. It will only make the symptoms of an emotional condition worse and prolong your suffering.

Reasons for Seeking Counseling

There are a variety of reasons why people would pursue counseling. In the past, seeking help from a professional counselor or therapist was regarded as a last resort. That is, it was conceived as a solution to seek out when everything else had failed. But, by then, you could have already suffered a great deal and your issues could have made a deep impact on your life.

To benefit from counseling, you need to be proactive and have a positive mindset. Think of counseling or therapy as a first rather than last solution to life or emotional issues. Don’t be deterred by fear of what others may say, cost, or any other roadblocks that stand in the way of seeking treatment.

The Price of Delay

Ignoring the symptoms of an emotional condition or a gripping negative feeling can cost you your physical and emotional health. It can cost you your peace of mind, taking you farther from your dreams and aspirations. It can cost you your most valued relationships and leave you with a lonely life.

Your consultation with a therapist or counselor should not wait. A capable professional can promptly assess your symptoms for a timely diagnosis and treatment. It is true that it takes courage to act on matters that you may find embarrassing, but waiting can have much worse consequences for your well-being and life.

Professional Help Works

Counseling and therapy work, but to truly benefit from your courageous decision, it is important to seek help from the right professional. Call Carolina Counseling Services - Pinehurst, NC, to find the counselor or therapist who can help you change your life for the better. If you want to feel better, stronger, and more self-aware, or to resolve your concerns without popping medications, call us. Let us journey with you as you navigate through your life transitions and emotional issues.

Child Counseling: Moving Towards Emotional Health for Your Child

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Parents play an important role in inspiring and motivating their children, so they can reach their full potential and ambitions in life. Being carefree and happy may be natural for some children, however, it isn’t so for every child.

If your child is struggling with an emotional issue or condition, helping them achieve their goals and experience more enjoyment in their lives may take more from them and you. Along with your guidance and the assistance of a child counselor, they can identify, address, and resolve their challenges.

Emotional Health: An Essential Part of a Child’s Overall Health

Your child’s emotional health is as important as their physical health. These vital elements of development can affect how they think, feel, and respond to internal and external stimuli. Their emotional health is intricately linked to their physical wellbeing and their ability to do well in many aspects of their lives.

Just as you would take them to a medical doctor when necessary, the same can apply if they are troubled by unhealthy emotions. Behind their unusual behavior could be an emotional condition or issue that’s confusing them in a way you don’t recognize or understand. A child counselor can help assess your child’s symptoms and provide prompt intervention.

How Child Counseling Can Help Your Child

If your child is weighed down by an emotional condition, you are not alone in not always knowing exactly what to do next. What you may perceive as typical misbehavior could be the symptoms of a deeper issue. Applying more discipline or increasing your tolerance level may be an immediate strategy, however, both actions are usually temporary, and the symptoms may worsen.

A good way of helping you and your child work through their difficulty is child counseling. It will take place in a safe, nurturing environment with an experienced and caring counselor who can encourage your child to express their thoughts and feelings in a healthy way. As the hurtful symptoms improve, they can gain more self-understanding and discover their strengths and joys along the way.

The Gift of a Happy Childhood

A happy childhood is a gift that can inspire and motivate your child to reach their full potential and aspirations later in life. You have the power to provide them the help when they need it by ensuring they are physically and emotionally well. To find the appropriate assistance for your son or daughter, seek child counseling from one of the counselors independently contracted with Carolina Counseling Services – Pinehurst, NC. Call us today to schedule their first appointment!